Today Wolverton Park, tomorrow the World

Mon 11 Jul 2011

Original artwork created for the multi-award winning Wolverton Park development in Milton Keynes is proving so popular it is being bought by collectors all over the world.

Thirty-five year old artist Robert Rusin comes originally from Poland but has been living in Milton Keynes for the past three years.  He was commissioned to create a series of images to celebrate the site by developers Places for People.  However, one of the pictures in particular has been selling online to art lovers from as far afield as California, Germany and Sydney, Australia.

Several of the artworks now hang in the Wolverton Park marketing suite and have been such a hit with new residents that a number of them have also bought copies to hang on the walls of their new homes.
“I took about three hundred photographs of the marvellous, historic buildings around Wolverton Park to give me ideas,” Robert says, “and I knew straight away because of the glorious railway heritage of the place and that so many of the people living there would commute to Birmingham and London, that railways ought to be central to my work.  I really did not have to go any further than to look around here for my inspiration.”

One of Robert’s fans is Olwen Sinclair who, along with her husband Iain, was one of the first residents of Wolverton Park since its multi-award-winning transformation.  She first noticed Robert’s work on the walls of the Marketing suite and says: “The style and colour reminded me of the posters I saw in the steam trains in which I travelled to school in the fifties.  I hadn`t heard of the artist Robert Rusin but when Linda in the office showed me the others I knew I wanted one.”

Olwen’s new home has become an accidental showroom for Robert’s work.  She says, “Each poster is unique; a composition of parts of a building with other objects relevant to Wolverton Park. The colours are quite unusual and I just enjoy looking at them.  As we have happily lived in Wolverton Park for over two years, we feel they are very special. They are hanging in our corridor and make a talking point as visitors notice them. One friend recently bought two posters with different subjects from Robert after admiring mine.” 

Robert’s pictures have the feel of classic railways posters of the 1920s and 30s.  He says the history of Wolverton Park as a key location where engineers worked on steam locomotives and where the Royal Train was eventually based moved him to create something which spoke of “then and now. There is a great tradition of railway poster art in Britain,” Robert says, “and I knew I just had to reflect that in what I was doing.”

Many of the new homes currently on the market can be seen in Robert’s work.  The Triangle, as the former locomotive workshops are known, has been converted into spacious and elegant two and three bedroom mews houses and one and two bedroom maisonettes and apartments.   The artworks show how the original brickwork and steel girders have been incorporated into the new homes overlooking the picturesque canal or a tranquil courtyard.

Places for People Sales Director, Elliott Stiling, says, “We asked Robert to come up with something we could use both to evoke the marvellous history of Wolverton Park and to explain that it is a beautiful place to live today.  We were delighted by his designs but we never imagined they would end up taking the story of the rebirth of Wolverton Park all over the world.”

Robert’s style of work would be entirely mysterious to the artists who created railway posters in the age of steam.  He works on hand sketches of his ideas until he is happy with them before scanning them into his computer and adding the colour digitally.  In this way he was able to create twenty-six original designs for Wolverton Park in only three weeks.

“We’re very proud of our marketing suite as a place to introduce prospective purchasers to the possibilities Wolverton Park affords,” Elliott Stiling says.  “We never really planned for it to end up doubling as an art gallery, but we’re really proud to have Robert’s pictures on display.  Their quality is a tribute to the workmanship of the people who built the original buildings in the last century, and to the efforts of those who’ve made it into such a wonderful place to live today.” 

Now prospective purchasers can have their very own piece of Britain’s industrial history to call home and which features in brand new works of art popular the world over.

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